MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE |  V. I. Lenin


V. I. Lenin

THREE CONSTITUTIONS OR
THREE SYSTEMS OF GOVERNMENT

Published in leaflet form
in June-July 1905

Published according to
the text of the leaflet


From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965

Second Revised Edition

Vol. 8, pp. 557-59.

Translated from the Russian by
Bernard Isaacs and Isidor Lasker
Editor: V. J. Jerome


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo,
djr@marx2mao.org
 (February 2002)

     
    page 557
    RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY
     
    Workers of all countries, unite!

     

    THREE CONSTITUTIONS OR THREE SYSTEMS
    OF GOVERNMENT



    What do the police
    and officials want?
     
     
     
     
     

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    What do the most
    liberal of the bour-
    geois (the people of
    the Osvobozhdeniye, or the Constitution-
    al-Democratic Par-
    ty) want?

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    What do the class-
    conscious workers
    (the Social-Demo-
    crats) want?
     
     
     

    The absolute mon-
    archy.

    The constitutional
    monarchy.

    The democratic re-
    public.

     
    OF WHAT DO THESE SYSTEMS OF GOVERNMENT CONSIST?

    ABSOLUTE
    MONARCHY

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    CONSTITUTIONAL
    MONARCHY

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    DEMOCRATIC
    REPUBLIC

      1. The tsar -- an
    absolute monarch.
     

      1.  The tsar -- a
    constitutional mon-
    arch.

      1.  No tsar.
     
     

      2.  A Council of
    State (officials ap-
    pointed by the tsar).
     
     
     

      2.  An Upper
    House of popular re-
    presentatives (in di-
    rect, not quite equal
    and not quite univer-
    sal elections).

      2.  No Upper
    House.
     
     
     
     

     
    page 558

      3.  A State Duma,
    or consultative body
    of popular represen-
    tatives (in direct,
    unequal, and non-
    universal elections).

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      3.  A Lower House
    (universal, direct,
    and equal elections
    by secret ballot).
     
     

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      3.  A single re-
    publican house (un-
    iversal, direct, and
    equal elections by
    secret ballot).
     

     



    WHAT IS THE SIGNFICANCE OF THESE
    SYSTEMS OF GOVERMENT?

     

    ABSOLUTE
    MONARCHY

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    CONSTITUTIONAL
    MONARCHY

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    DEMOCRATIC
    REPUBLIC

      1. and 2. Com-
    plete power of the
    police and the of-
    ficials over the
    people.
     
     

      1. One-third of
    the power in the
    hands of the police
    and the officials,
    headed by the tsar.
     
     

      1. No indepen-
    dent power for
    either the police
    or the officials;
    their complete
    subordination to
    the people.

      3. Consultative
    voice of the big
    bourgeoisie and the
    rich landlords.
     

      2. One-third of
    the power in the
    hands of the big
    bourgeoisie and the
    rich landlords.

      2. No privileges
    for either the capi-
    talists or the land-
    lords.
     

      No power for the
    people.
     
     
     

      3. One-third of
    the power in the
    hands of the whole
    people.
     

      3. All power --
    wholly, completely
    and indivisibly --
    in the hands of the
    whole people.

     
    page 559

    WHAT PURPOSE SHALL THESE
    SYSTEMS OF GOVERNMENT SERVE?


    ABSOLUTE
    MONARCHY

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    CONSTITUTIONAL
    MONARCHY

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    DEMOCRATIC
    REPUBLIC

      That the courti-
    ers, the police, and
    the officials may
    live on the fat of the
    land;
      that the rich may
    rob the workers and
    peasants at their
    own free will;
      that the people
    may remain for ever
    without rights and
    live in darkness and
    ignorance.
     
     

      That the police
    and the officials
    may be dependent on
    the capitalists and
    landlords;
      that the capital-
    ists, landlords, and
    rich peasants may
    freely and easily rob
    the workers of town
    and country, by right
    and not by arbitrary
    rule.
     
     
     

      That the free and
    enlightened people
    may learn to run
    things themselves,
    and, principally,
    that the working
    class may be free
    to struggle for soc-
    ialism, for a system
    under which there
    will be neither rich
    nor poor and all the
    land, all the facto-
    ries and works, will
    belong to all the
    working people.